The non-profit Graycliff Conservancy was founded in 1997 specifically to acquire, preserve, and restore the summer home of Darwin and Isabelle Martin, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built between 1926 and 1931 Thanks to volunteers and professionals throughout Western New York and across the United States, the Graycliff Conservancy stands today as a true grass-roots success story, starting as a citizen-driven movement to acquire and save the property in 1997. Today the Conservancy is poised to achieve all of its original preservation and restoration goals, returning the houses and grounds to their condition in 1931.
Throughout its history, the Graycliff Conservancy worked in the organic mode utilized by Wright in the design process. Just as he built from the land, harvesting limestone from the beach below and utilizing Lake Erie beach sand in Graycliff’s stucco and plaster, the Conservancy evolved as a nonprofit by building with what it had. In the early years, that was passion and commitment to preservation as early restoration goals and fundraising targets were met before the organization even hired its first employee.
As the Conservancy grew, it was prudent and frugal as an organization and utilized the talents of its volunteers and board members to lead tours, continue the restoration, and build the organization. Today, the Graycliff Conservancy is a lean but professionally led organization with an annual operating budget that exceeds $500,000. We invite you to join us on the journey to complete the restoration of this architectural masterpiece and continue to make it accessible to a growing number of local residents and architecture enthusiasts through ever-changing tours and programming.
View a copy of the Graycliff Conservancy's 2016 Annual Report here.